The following is the first in an occasional series of quick reviews of the growing number of food trucks in the area.
There's no mistaking the bright yellow of the Duk Truck. Even at night.
I pulled up to Jason Dady's Duk Truck close to midnight Friday. It was parked in front of Artisans Alley at 555 W. Bitters. No lights were on, but several people were at home. The truck had just run out of gas, they said, but it would be up and running as soon as the tank was filled.
So, I decided to study the menu and see what I would eventually get with the $10 bill in my wallet. No credit cards accepted, the cook said.
Right off the bat, I knew I wanted the Smoked Deviled Eggs ($3). Who could resist deviled eggs, even on a night in which the temperatures were just above freezing. They were surely cooked already, so they could be served relatively quickly.
Beef tongue pastrami on pumpernickel rye
But what about the other snack? On the $6 menu were a number of choices that tempted me at so late an hour. I nixed the Two Bros. brisket, simply because I had had it before and wanted to try something new. The same with the smoked salmon. That left filet mignon meatballs, beef tongue pastrami and chicken-fried pork belly.
I went with the cook's recommendation of the pastrami and was rewarded with a real treat. The fleshy meat, heated to order, had a slight tang complemented by the warm sauerkraut and the bittersweet flavor of pumpernickel rye bread. It was a little messy but thoroughly enjoyable.
Smoked deviled eggs
I wish the deviled eggs were as good, but I found the filling too smooth, too processed and lacking in all but an oddly muted smoky flavor. Salt, the savior of many a bland food, was not among the vast array of condiments set out by the Kool-Aid and "Ice-T" dispensers at the end of the truck, however. The cook gladly gave me some of his stash of sea salt, but even that couldn't resuscitate the eggs. (An aside: Few snacks in this world are as perfect as an old-fashioned deviled egg. There's no need to jazz it up with smoke flavor, wasabi, crab meat or anything else. Just my opinion.)
Condiments galore at the Duk Truck.
Next time I see the bright yellow truck parked alongside the road and gassed up for business, I hope I have a little extra money for the $9 menu with its duck confit Asian steamed buns, Thai green curry with blue crab or Moco Loco, a combination of fried egg, Two Bros. pulled pork, ginger rice and red-eye gravy. Or maybe I'll splurge on the $6 Nutella Sundae.
That is, if I can resist another pastrami on rye.
To find out where the Duk Truck will be, follow it on Twitter (@duktruck) or e-mail email@example.com